The New Patriotic Party (NPP) Minority in Parliament has slammed government accusing the current administration of riddling the energy sector with “corruption, inefficiency, indecision, self-interest and misguided and inappropriate policies”, so much so that it has become a drag on the economic transformation of the country.

Kweku Tahir HammondThe NPP further accuses the ruling government of its inability to fulfill pledges it made in 2008 that when voted for, that it would ensure the supply of power on a reliable and sustainable basis.

At a press conference held in Accra, the opposition party claimed the country does not have “a single litre of strategic oil reserve” because of the NDC’s corrupt and inefficient policies in the energy sector.

Addressing the press conference, the NPP spokesperson on energy Hon. Kweku Tahir Hammond claimed when leaving office in 2008, the NPP left an oil reserve of close to three months, which meant the nation could survive in the event of severe energy crisis; but the NDC, under the John Mahama-led administration, can only showcase to Ghanaians after close to five years in office, indebtedness to all the energy players in the country.

“As of today the NDC Government owes the Bulk Oil Distribution Companies an amount of US$700m which is posing a threat to both the BDCs and the commercial banks in the country. BOST has also collapsed and the country has not a single litre of strategic oil reserves, when under the NPP Administration, efforts were made to store three months of strategic oil reserves,” he alleged.

The Minority?? is therefore, demanding from government to tell Ghanaians if the power and petroleum sectors can rise to the challenge of economic growth.

?They said in their message on the true state of the Nation delivered in February 2013, they highlighted some of the avoidable difficulties the country has faced under this non-performing NDC administration in its energy sector and in that statement, we let it be known that, in 2008, while criticizing the NPP for the power crisis of 2007 and early 2008 the NDC insisted that they “would ensure the supply of power on a reliable and sustainable basis” if they were elected. They boasted that they would “ensure the delivery of energy services to all consumers in a secure, efficient, reliable, sustainable, safe and environmentally-friendly manner”.

According to the NPP, if wishes were horses beggars would ride, and that Ghanaians have all seen how efficient and reliable power has been supplied under the NDC administration.

?We stated that this crisis is internally generated and is the result of the bad policies and indecisions of this Government. It has nothing to do with the Akosombo reservoir, which has recently seen one of its highest levels of inflow in many years. It is the result of a multiplicity of factors all of which are within the control of VRA and the Government. VRA should have kept up their capacity expansion while the Government should have kept its part of the bargain and provided the generation company with adequate resources to ensure a reliable supply of fuel for generation,? NPP said.

The party also enumerated that during their administration VRA was supported monthly to procure light crude oil for its operations. Besides withdrawing this support, the NDC Government is indebted to VRA to the tune of about US$400m thereby financially muzzling and incapacitating the company from effectively discharging its functions, but as of today the NDC Government owes the Bulk Oil Distribution Companies an amount of US$700m which is posing a threat to both the BDCs and the commercial banks in the country.

The NPP also stated that BOST has also collapsed and the country has not a single litre of strategic oil reserves, when under the NPP Administration, efforts were made to store three months of strategic oil reserves.

?After four hopelessly wasted years of this battle, a decision was finally made in November 2012 to reinstate Zachem International as the preferred contractor. Meanwhile the contract price has been varied by a whopping 54.3 million Euros. Quite apart from the colossal waste of public finances involved, this act of greed and corruption on the part of VRA and the government prevented the nation from enjoying 220 megawatts of power which should have been on stream by now. Had this been done the loss of Sunon Asogli would have made no difference at all in our power supply. Now we would have to wait another two years by Zachem International’s conservative estimate, to have Kpone on stream; that is towards the end of 2015 or early 2016 and not the five months that the minister promised.?

Speaking on power generation, the NPP said they found it interesting that the NDC had recently increased generation by 2 megawatts by way of solar energy but their checks have however, revealed that even this modest contribution is again riding on the back of NPP initiative. ?But even if it is not, this cannot achieve any bragging rights. The Deputy Minister of Energy, Mr Jinapor was recently heard suggesting that it is rather the NPP Government which did not add one megawatt of power to installed capacity. Mr Deputy, call for a better briefing.?

The party has also noted that it had identified how the energy sector has negatively impugned on the economy, saying that the World Bank has recently reported that the economic damage inflicted by the current power shortfall is considerable. ?It blames the crisis on the Government’s policies and indecisions which have delayed investment in generation and which is the root cause of the current power shortage. And only a few days ago, Jonathan Bloom, the Vice President of the US Millennium Challenge Corporation stated bluntly, that a number of US firms prepared to invest in Ghana are holding back due to unreliable power supply.?

They pointed out?? that? the energy sector of Ghana is so riddled with corruption, inefficiency, indecision, self-interest and misguided and inappropriate policies that it has become a drag on the economic transformation of the country? and? they need a change of direction.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.